Ukraine’s Sickness and Europe’s Cure: Neo-Liberalism and Neo-Fascism Join Hands
By Eric Draitser
Global Research, February 25, 2014
Region: Europe, Russia and FSU
Theme: Global Economy
The situation in Ukraine is evolving by the hour. Right wing ultranationalists and their “liberal” collaborators have taken control of the Rada (Ukrainian parliament) and deposed the democratically elected, though utterly corrupt and incompetent, President Yanukovich.
Former Prime Minister, and convicted criminal, Yulia Tymoshenko has been freed, and is now making common cause with Noe-Nazi Right Sector, Svoboda, and other fascist elements, while the opposition’s nominal leaders such as Arseny Yatsenyuk and Vitali Klitschko begin to fade into the background.
In Moscow, Russian President Vladimir Putin undoubtedly watches with anxiousness. In Washington, Victoria Nuland and the Obama administration rejoice. However, perhaps the most critical development of all is soon to emerge in Europe, as the forces of Western finance capital prepare to welcome Ukraine into the fold. They will come bearing the usual neoliberal gifts: austerity and “economic liberalization.”
With the overthrow of the Yanukovich government, the $15 billion of promised Russian financial assistance to Ukraine is in doubt. According to Moody’s rating agency, “Ukraine will require $24 billion to cover a budget deficit, debt repayments, natural gas bills and pension support just in 2014.” Without Moscow’s continued bond purchasing and other forms of financial aid, and with pro-EU forces taking control of the country’s economic and foreign policy, the outcome is not hard to predict: a rescue package from Europe and the IMF with all the usual austerity conditions attached.
In exchange for European “aid”, Ukraine will be forced to accept the driving down of wages, significant cuts to the public sector and social services, in addition to a rise in taxes on the working class and slashing of pensions. Moreover, the country will be compelled to accede to a liberalization program that will allow Europe to dump goods into the Ukrainian market, deregulation and the further opening up the country’s financial sector to predatory speculation and privatization.
It doesn’t take psychic powers to predict these developments. One merely has to look at the wave of austerity in European countries such as Greece and Cyprus. Furthermore, Eastern European countries with similar economic and [. . .]